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Two-toed sloths

Two-toed sloths

Z917/0002

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Credit

GREGORY DIMIJIAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GREGORY DIMIJIAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Hoffmann's two-toed sloths. Two young Hoffmann's two-toed sloths (Choloepus hoffmanni) hanging from a branch in a tree. These animals live in trees in rainforests in Central America and northern South America. Young are born after a gestation lasting just under six months. They are independent after nine months. Sloths are generally solitary, and meet only to mate. They have an extremely slow metabolism, appearing to move in slow motion as they feed on leaves. They allow algae to grow in their hair, imparting a greenish hue which serves as camouflage. Combined with their inactivity, this makes them almost imperceptible to predators. Photographed in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

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